Watching inexperienced gamers is hard; not telling them what to do is harder

Ed Smith let his girlfriend play Heavy Rain, and then proceeded to tell her how to play it. I mean, come on! She hadn’t found all the FBI agent’s clues!

She hadn’t even examined the body! I try to explain that she’s an FBI agent, that a boy’s been murdered; I’ll be damned if any serial killer is going to get away with this on my watch. Slamming my fist on the desk like Bernie Hamilton, I tell her to turn around, get back in there and do her job. Grudgingly, she picks up the controller and starts searching again. With a few hints and prods, she eventually finds the body, gets the blood samples and heads back to the office. Crisis averted.


And then it hits me. Like Batman staring down at Harvey Dent’s body, I suddenly realize I’ve become the thing I hate. Nagging my girlfriend to do what she’s told, I’m the scoring system at the end of each level, the angry support character telling you off for doing it wrong. I’m the thing that kills videogames, the prodding performance review that won’t let you be.